hispanic healthcare communicationsSOURCE: AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez 

Last week, we took a look at the linguistic and presentational barriers to reaching the Hispanic community. Now, let’s dig a little deeper and examine how we can overcome those barriers using a proven set of tactics.

A telephone survey conducted by Wilkin and Ball-Rokeach discovered that Latinos have strong connections to the media that target their ethnic group (i.e. Univision, Telemundo, etc.), as well as interpersonal networks of friends and family, and health professionals.

Based on this finding, Wilkin and Ball-Rokeach created a basic communication infrastructure consisting of two elements:

1. The storytelling network
2. The communication action context

Evidence shows that a multi-level network of residents, community/nonprofit organizations and geo-ethnic media who act as storytellers and stimulate each other to engage the Hispanic community have a tremendous impact on civic engagement. This participation has been directly linked to promoting positive health behaviors.

Neighborhood storytelling has been linked to a range of topics, including:

- Street safety
- Transportation
- Quality of local grocery stores
- Law enforcement
- Healthcare services

But this begs the question ― where do you tell your story?

Ball-Rokeach developed a media dependency theory to uncover the relationship between people and their relationship to the media  and how that can achieve everyday goals. This theory has been used successfully in communicating health problems, services, treatments and preventative behaviors.

According to the study, Hispanics’ most important communication connections for health are as follows:

Communication Mode Frequency rating
Interpersonal communication 46%
Geo-ethnic television 32%
Books or magazines 12%
Geo-ethnic newspaper 11%
Leaflets and pamphlets 9%
Geo-ethnic radio 8%
Mainstream television 8%
Internet 7%
Mainstream newspapers 2%
Mainstream radio 1%

More recent studies have indicated that Hispanics also have a higher propensity to access information on their mobile phones than any other device. This could very well lead your campaign to adopt a text/SMS or mobile tactic when attempting  to reach this audience.

While the communication frequencies vary across the board, it is important to realize that the combination of all communication modes will provide you with the most comprehensive and effective campaign possible.

For more information on Hispanic media consumption, read our blog “Hispanics Use Twitter More – Really?”